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North Dakota Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Laws

For many years, corporal punishment was a normal form of school discipline across the United States. However, this issue has become very controversial lately. With heightened public awareness of child abuse and increased sensitivity to the emotional well-being of children, many schools and teachers are reluctant to impose any physical discipline whatsoever upon students for fear of being accused of child abuse themselves.

States can vary on whether it is allowed, so what does the Flickertail State have to say on the matter? Here is a brief introduction to corporal punishment in public schools laws in North Dakota.

Corporal Punishment Statutes in North Dakota

North Dakota, like most states, prohibits corporal punishment in public schools, and only allows the use of reasonable and necessary force in very limited circumstances.

The following table lists the applicable North Dakota's corporal punishment in schools law.

More Information on Corporal Punishment in Public School Laws

Code Section 15.1-19-02
Statutory Definition of Corporal Punishment

For purposes of this section, corporal punishment means the willful infliction of physical pain on a student; willfully causing the infliction of physical pain on a student; or willfully allowing the infliction of physical pain on a student.

Physical pain or discomfort caused by athletic competition or other recreational activities voluntarily engaged in by a student is not corporal punishment.

Punishment Allowed A school district employee may not inflict, cause to be inflicted, or threaten to inflict corporal punishment on a student.  
Circumstances Allowable

This section does not prohibit a school district employee from using the degree of force necessary:

  • To quell a physical disturbance that threatens physical injury to an individual or damage to property;
  • To quell a verbal disturbance;
  • For self-defense;
  • For the preservation of order; or
  • To obtain possession of a weapon or other dangerous object within the control of a student.

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time through the enactment of new legislation and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact a North Dakota education law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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